48 hours in New York: Trip Planning
ANA B777-300ER “THE Room” Business Class NRT-JFK
British Airways First Lounge New York JFK
ANA B777-300ER “THE Suite” First Class JFK-HND
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo Haneda
Singapore Airlines B777-300ER First Class HND-SIN
Towards the end of 2019, I wrote about five airline products I was aiming to review in 2020. We’re barely one month in, and I’m ready to cross one (or technically, two) of them off the list.
It’s safe to say that no one saw ANA’s new First and Business Class seats coming. Unlike certain airlines which announce new products three years in advance (and go on to win rather dodgy awards for doing so), ANA gave one month’s notice, then deployed the seats on the Tokyo to London route without much fanfare.
I can’t imagine why they’d do that, because the new seats look amazing. The new First Class (called “The Suite“) fixes many of the outstanding issues with ANA’s old First Class, while adding the totally-unnecessary-yet-completely-awesome feature of the world’s first 4K inflight entertainment screen.
But as good as First Class looks, this may be a flight where Business Class is the bigger draw. That’s because ANA’s new product (called “The Room“) is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The width, the personal space, the doors…it’s hard to believe this is “only” Business Class.
Unfortunately, the new seats are only available on selected B777-300ER (B77W) aircraft, and only on certain routes.
|NH 10||NRT 16:40||JFK 15:10|
|NH 9||JFK 10:45||NRT 15:00 (+1)|
|NH 110||HND 10:20||JFK 09:00|
|NH 109||JFK 16:55||HND 21:10 (+1)|
|NH 203||HND 00:50||FRA 05:20|
|NH 204||FRA 11:30||HND 06:50 (+1)|
|NH 211||HND 11:40||LHR 15:25|
|NH 212||LHR 19:00||HND 15:50 (+1)|
|All flights operated daily|
Award space is generally hard to find, but I did spot a glut of seats around the CNY period on the Tokyo to New York route. After some frenzied searching and a few nail-biting phone calls, I scored the jackpot- The Room on the outbound leg, The Suite on the return. I love it when a plan comes together.
The catch? Thanks to award space restrictions, I’ll have just 48 hours to spend in New York.
Outbound leg: ANA new Business Class
|NH 802||0635 SIN||1430 NRT|
|NH10||1640 NRT||1510 JFK|
For the outbound flight from Singapore to New York, I redeemed a Business Class Star Alliance partner award for 105,000 KrisFlyer miles + S$412.50 of taxes and surcharges, flying ANA on both SIN-NRT and NRT-JFK.
I would much rather have booked this as a mixed SQ/NH award so I could at least have saved the ~S$130 of fuel surcharges from SIN-NRT, but there were no Business Saver awards on the day NH10 had a seat (probably on account of the incredible 51% off awards in February).
My itinerary ticketed immediately, and I was able to select my seats via the ANA website. If you have a B77W with the new Business Class, you’ll see the following seat map. Note how row 20 is the final row of Business Class.
If you see the following seat map where the final row of Business Class is 21 (or 17), you have a B77W with the older Business Class.
Inbound leg: ANA new First Class
|NH 109||1655 JFK||2110 (+1) HND|
|SQ 635||2250 HND||0525 (+1) SIN|
For the inbound flight from New York to Singapore, I redeemed a First Class Star Alliance partner award for 148,500 KrisFlyer miles + US$42.70 (~S$58) of taxes and surcharges, flying ANA on JFK-HND and Singapore Airlines from HND-SIN.
You may have noticed there’s a big discrepancy in taxes and surcharges between the outbound leg (S$412.50) and inbound leg (~S$58). That’s because:
- I don’t need to pay any fuel surcharges on the HND-SIN leg, as it’s on Singapore Airlines metal
- The fuel surcharges from JFK-HND are a measly US$1. Yes, US$1. I can’t believe it too.
|Interestingly enough, if you book JFK-HND without the HND-SIN leg, your fuel surcharge on ANA increases to US$87. What we have here on our hands is called a “fuel dump”, albeit a highly inefficient one.|
In our particular example however, the dump is considered “inefficient” because someone who intended to fly from JFK-HND would see no point in adding a HND-SIN leg and throwing it away. What he’d save in fuel surcharges (US$86) would be more than offset by the additional fare (US$7,268.14). I’ve never done a fuel dump before because I think the hassle and risk aren’t worth it, but if you’re so inclined, you’ll find much more efficient dumping opportunities out there.
For good measure, I’m going to throw in a review of Singapore Airlines’ 2013 First Class too. I was looking through the previous trip reports on The Milelion and realised that although I’ve flown the product several times, I’ve never actually written a report of my own.
British Airways First Lounge New York JFK
ANA uses the newly-renovated British Airways First lounge in JFK for its First Class passengers. Although I won’t have access to the Concorde Room and my departure time is too early for ala carte dining or the Elemis Spa, it should still make for a visually-impressive review.
Unfortunately, I hear BA really skimps on the catering during windows when its own flights aren’t departing, so I don’t have high hopes for the F&B.
ANA Suite Lounge Haneda
But all isn’t lost for lounge dining, because I’ll have the opportunity to review the ANA Suite Lounge in Haneda on the return leg. This features ANA’s new ala carte dining experience, called “DINING h”.
This wasn’t available the last time I passed through, and by all accounts appears to be a fine addition to the lounge. I’m quite excited at the idea of getting a high-end Japanese meal without paying Japanese restaurant prices, and can see myself having more than a few wagyu steaks.
I’m visiting New York in the dead of winter, and as much as I wanted to review a flagship property like the St Regis New York or Park Hyatt New York, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend points when room rates were dirt cheap.
I ended up booking the humble SpringHill Suites Times Square South for just US$106 a night, taxes included. All I really need is a place to sleep and work for the short time I’m there, and it helps that the property doesn’t charge a fee to receive packages (which is becoming a common thing in New York).
48 hours in New York City isn’t a long time at all, but I’ve already covered the essentials on my previous visits there. This time round it’s going to be a very focused itinerary- pick up Amazon shopping, visit Magnolia Bakery (try the banana pudding, thank me later), stock up on things we pay way too much for in Singapore, and then home we go.
What would you guys do if you had 48 hours in New York?